Monday, February 22, 2010

Those "down with disability days"

I recently had to go to the local hospital with the MIL who's been a bit poorly and I said I would meet her over there. Now, as it happens, the hospital really isn't too far from my house, but it's just too far for me to walk and is too hilly to use my chair, so I wanted to drive and park somewhere reasonably close. I allowed half an hour to get there (which is plenty when you can actually see the hospital building from my house if you squint through the trees) and was feeling pretty smug that I was organised and ready to go.

The smugness started to wax a little as soon as I approached the car park and realised that there was a queue to get in - I followed the signs directing me up a side road to the car park, only to discover that it took you round in a big loop and joined the back of the queue which only looked to be around 6 cars long from the entrance. Sneaky blighters - there were around 24 cars in front of me and nothing was moving so I decided to try elsewhere. I headed for the disabled spaces certain in my optimism that I would find something there. In fact there are a total of 8 disabled spaces in the hospital car park*1 which seems ludicrous since many people attending hospital are likely to have a disability…aren't they? Anyway, my sunny nature started to fail when I saw they were all full and time really started to tick by quickly - my smug half an hour seemed to be fleeing like, well, like a flung thing…!

I headed for the overflow car park - this is a big car park, across the road and runs along what used to be a railway line - it's quite a way from the hospital, but it's flat and I had my chair so didn't have to worry about the distance being too far to walk. I got down there (and of course the traffic was awful everywhere, adding to my time pressures) and discovered that there was no space there either. Of course, sunny disposition or no, by this time I was really getting steamed up…I had been putting up with traffic, insane queuing systems, no spaces, few disabled spaces and just nowhere to park at all! In fact, that isn't strictly true, there was space to park, but it was up the hill - too far for me to walk and too far up a steep hill to use my chair without help. It was at this point I did what any sane person would do and phoned hubby. The conversation went something like this:

"Aaaaarggghhhh!!!! Blurgle, scream, car, aaargh, sniffle, parking, groffle, hill, waaahhhh!!...."

Hubby was at a loss for words in the face of someone plainly displaying all the signs of having a fit of the 'screaming ad-dabs*2'. He did his best though and tried to remain calm despite not really needing an insane woman calling him up, just to that she could yell down the phone at someone, anyone…please…?

Anyway the upshot of it was that I drove back home and then ordered a taxi to get me to the hospital (how nuts is that?). I got there fine and in time since the MIL's appointment was delayed (aren't they always?) and was there to go in with her through her tests, which she was grateful for. I also discovered that the reason the car park was so full, was not that there had been a major incident in the previous hour, but in fact, parking in the hospital car park has recently become free to all. It's intended to be great if you're a patient, but apparently its also wonderful for all the shoppers and office workers who are now using it because it's close to town…and free...

I was talking to hubby later and apologised for getting in such a strop - which plainly he didn't deserve, but as I put it, it was just a 'down with disability day'. Most of the time I am happy and optimistic and I just get on with life. I don't really think too much about having a disability (even though I do blog about it from time to time) - my life is, well, my life and I live pretty much the way I want to live. Sometimes though, just sometimes, something happens to just remind you how horrid it can be. When you can't walk the distance and you can't use your chair, then you are prevented from doing something that most other people out there just do. Most people would have parked at the top of the hill and walked down - I just couldn't, and so I was reminded of my own restrictions. I didn't like that at all, and so, it became one of my down with disability days….

*1 That is way less than Tesco!
*2 My mother used to say this all the time….

Saturday, February 20, 2010


...I wonder if this...

...and this....

...are connected in any way?....

...especially since my cat is a fan of pastry...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just a quickie...

I am just about to go away for the weekend but I thought you might like to know that now I am 5 weeks and 3 days after my procedure.

My eyes are, well, like eyes….

Suddenly I find myself trying to take my glasses off at the end of the day (since I no longer feel like I am wearing contact lenses) and my vision is really, really good. I think my right eye is definitely catching up my left one now and my only real remaining problem is the dratted haloes at night, but even they are improving. I can even read easily and comfortably without ready readers too!

Now, I seem to remember some question about would I recommend it?

The answer's a no-brainer….yes, yes, yes! *1
*1 OK I only have 2 eyes so I guess two yes's would have sufficed!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Things I can do

I am (as you may remember) a great list maker and I was reminded of this yesterday when I was stood outside in the rain. Now I am sure that you have no idea why the rain made me think of lists, but be patient (grasshopper!) and you will soon see what I am getting at.

The thing was, that I was outside, in the rain, on an almost average evening. Well, actually it wasn't that average, hubby's car had a flat tyre (long story which I won't tell you because I'm nice) and my little car was off having it's Mot. Now, there was good and bad about my poor little car - when they called me they said the brakes were sh*gged (like I couldn't tell this from the distinct lack of stopping power) and it needed welding. Well, OK, to get to 26 (and a half) years old and needing welding for the first time was a shame, but not surprising for a car of its age (and I knew that spot on the sill would catch me up sooner or later!), but that was all that needed doing. All in - less than £200 can't be bad! Anyway, because hubby's car had a flat tyre, I needed to get a taxi to get to the garage to pick up my car and so I was stood in the rain waiting for the taxi (am I boring you with my rambling yet?). I suddenly became aware of just what the raindrops looked like, falling from the sky and being lit up by the nearby streetlamp. It was really strange and I realised it was because I was looking at a wet world unencumbered by steamed up and dripped on spectacles. It was a 'whoa, like wow, like amazing man' kind of moment….and I fell to wondering about all the other things that I am starting to notice as pretty cool, now my eyes are starting to really heal up well…hence the list…

So, here it is, things I have discovered so far that I can now do, that I didn't realise I would be able to do and that are 'pretty awesome man'

I can:
  • Read the clock in the morning
  • Tell the difference between shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste in the shower
  • Open the oven door without being blinded for several minutes
  • Stir stew and see if it is just about to boil over without being so steamed up that I have to discover that by the noise the liquid makes as it trickles over the side of the pan and hits the hob
  • Not bother looking for glasses just so I can get out of bed*1
  • Lie on my side in bed and see what is happening - I could do this before but it hurt my nose where my specs dug in!
  • Find the ladies changing rooms at the swimming pool (darn no excuse for going in the gent's now - maybe this isn't such a great one)
  • Use the steam room - I could do this before also, but blindly groping in a steam room can lead to some nasty surprises!
  • Feel the rain on my face (do raindrops really look like that?)
Of course, all this is great, but even now, a month on I am still having a few issues with focus fluctuation and light starbursts and haloes. Now when they've gone, I definitely will do another list!


*1 Actually, I am still trying to do this out of habit. I look at the bedside cabinet, see that my glasses aren't there, wonder where they are and then realise that I can see that they aren't there…very odd...